Dartmouth's Daily Blog
News, commentary, criticism and praise for the College on the Hill, enlivened with history, culture and travel when we feel so moved.
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Dean’s Hairdresser for African-Americans
How would we like Dartmouth students to be known? Certainly for intelligence, but how about for resourcefulness, independence, and originality? We can stipulate, as Chris Rock describes in a very entertaining movie (Good Hair), that black folks have special haircare needs. And we can agree that the State of New Hampshire is overwhelmingly white. So what are Dartmouth’s African-American students to do about haircare? It seems, this:
The Dean of the College is funding a hairdresser? Let’s ignore the surrounding community and just focus on the College. How many African-Americans are to be found inside the Dartmouth bubble? There are only 20 black or African-American faculty members, but the College is attracting a fast-growing number of African-American students:
Do we really need a dean to organize haircutting for 426 able, thoughtful people? Was it not possible for the leaders of one of the African-American student organizations to approach a local haircutting emporium and suggest that they hire a specialist — and in exchange, the students would promise their patronage to that establishment? Capitalism at its best, don’t you think?
In fact, the Office of Pluralism and Leadership (OPAL) has been hard at work on this question for many years. I recall a a discussion at least a decade ago with a well coiffed student who cited the African-American hairdresser as one of OPAL’s singular achievements. Oh my. What a lesson to be learned from a Dartmouth education: when you have a need, just go to the administration for help. Who needs to take personal responsibility for a problem? After all, one day, there will be a government program for everything.
Addendum: In a bad previous era, before the arrival in Hanover of Super-AD Harry Sheehy, the rugby team, being only a club, was not allowed to train in Floren. The fieldhouse was only for varsity teams, according to feckless AD Josie Harper. So team members got creative: they approached me, and, appealing to my alumni pride (they were perennial Ivy champs, after all), they cleverly offered me a ton of free sideline advertising, and even a little dough, all for the right to train at my health club with our best strength coach. How could I say no? Those independent-minded, resourceful ruggers will go far.
August 14, 2013
Breaking: Of Crips and Bloods and Memories of Ghetto Parties
History repeats itself, first as tragedy and then as farce, or sometimes it just repeats itself. From the New York Times on November 30, 1998: At Dartmouth College, white students at a ”ghetto party” dressed…
June 25, 2013
Dean of the College Charlotte Johnson’s War on Students Part (2/2)
Part 1, Part 2 Today’s post again recounts the events that befell the Freshman. However, the content of the Hanover Police department report reproduced in this space yesterday is supplemented by information from my own…
October 18, 2009
When Love Beckoned in 52nd Street
We were at San Francisco’s BIX last evening, enjoying prosecco, cheese, and a bit of music. A full year of inhabitation in Northern California has unraveled to me no decent venue for proper lounging, but…
October 9, 2009
D Afraid of a Little Competish
So our colleague and Dartblog writer Joe Asch informed me that the D has rejected our cunning advertising campaign. Uh-oh. The Dartmouth is widely known as a breeding ground for instant New York Times successes,…
September 4, 2009
How Regents Should Reign
As Dartmouth alumni proceed through the legal hoops necessary to defuse a Board-packing plan—which put in unhappy desuetude an historic 1891 Agreement between alumni and the College guaranteeing a half-democratically-elected Board of Trustees—it strikes one…
August 29, 2009
Election Reform Study Committee
If you are an alum of the College on the Hill, you may have received a number of e-mails of late beseeching your input for a new arm of the College’s Alumni Control Apparatus called…